Monday, August 31, 2015

Forecast #1: "Whatta ya got stock in the water company or something?! Turn the water off": The Importance of Monitoring Water Usage

Alright, so maybe you have heard your grandpa or someone's grandpa ask if "ya got stock in the water company" when you leave the faucet running. Maybe you haven't.

What do you think that grandpa comment really means?

Sometimes the best things can come out of dire situations. The drought in California is a prime example and it is forcing innovation.
A couple of examples of innovation with saving water.

-We lose millions of gallons of drinking water every year to pipe leakage
Pipes that are able to detect leaks...
-A shower that re-uses water and reduces water usages by 90% and energy by 80% without compromising awesome design and comfort of a nice shower

Water is seen as an inexpensive/free and expected commodity in the USA.
But what happens when we start to run out? Look at what is happening in California:

“The diminished hydro-power capacity of California’s dams cost electricity customers a total of $1.4 billion in the past three years.”


Global Impact:
Reduction of water usage: Setting an example for the rest of the world.
New innovations could make it possible to create new ways to provide clean water systems to developing countries. It also could help with farming in rural areas or areas where water is very scarce. You can look at things like the Re-Inventing the Toilet Competition that the Gates Foundation had a few years ago. The idea was to create a toilet that could not only create compost, but possible create clean water? Holy crappola. What a crazy idea.

If you want some comedic relief:
Jimmy drinks poop water...


National Impact:
Innovation is key. Again, the dire situation has shown that if we do not do something, we will have nada.

(This shower head looks cool and is cool. It uses more than half of the water a regular shower head uses)

Local/Personal Impact:

There are talks/rumors about tapping into Lake Superior for freshwater for the Southwest drought. Better efforts need to be made to reduce and reuse what is currently available before that would ever happen.
If you talk to people up on Superior (MN), the talk of protecting their freshwater is not a new thing.

(In 2008, laws were signed to protect the lake from diversions in Michigan. But that doesn't mean something can't change in the future)

What could you do or could be done to create the greatest positive impact on the future?
Making your home or business eco-friendly is not always cheap. Making efforts to reduce these costs and provide incentives would be ideal. Rebates for homes?

I just get really excited when I read about all these new ideas that are happening with agriculture, clean water and ways of collect and purifying water. It makes me really excited to see what can happen on a global scale.

What could you do or could be done to create the greatest negative impact?
Nothing. By sitting by and watching this happen, nothing will happen and water will become incredibly scarce. 

What is most frustrating is reading about the celebrities and wealthier communities in California that seem to ignore the water crisis. I believe that they fines that they charge people with should reflect the taxes/value of the neighborhood they live in. People that live in areas with higher taxes should be given greater fines. If it comes down to making people pay attention by making them pay money, by all means fine them. The same goes with those in other neighborhoods.

Which region of the future does this related closest most to or does this fit in between or perhaps a region of the future you'd like to define for yourself?

Do you think people need incentives for reducing their water usage?
Do you feel like it is invasive to regulated and monitor water usage?

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Just keeping things on the up and up since this is for my students to communicate first.